Dick’s Nationals Expansion

The name of the tournament changed from the National High School Invitational to Dick’s Nationals in 2014. The host location changed from Maryland to New York as well for the 2014 event, however one thing that has remained the same throughout the history of this event is the field being comprised of just eight teams. Is it time for the Dick’s Nationals Tournament to expand from eight to sixteen schools? A case could be made that expanding the tournament to sixteen teams would create more opportunities for big upsets, as well as creating more games; in turn creating a more intriguing event for both college coaches, NBA scouts, and the casual viewers.

Expanding the field would create more of an opportunity for the top Academy and Prep schools such as Montverde Academy (FL), Oak Hill Academy (VA), Findlay Prep (NV), La Lumiere (IN), and Huntington Prep (WV) to breath easy knowing a birth in the field is virtually a lock year in and year out. Teams like Rainier Beach (WA), Huntington Prep (WV), and now Wheeler (GA) have started protesting state associations to allow their teams to participate in the post-season tournament. The announcement of expanding the field to sixteen teams could put pressure on more state associations to allow their member organizations to compete in the postseason tournament. This would provide opportunity for last minute exposure for high school players with dreams of making it to the next level as well as giving more teams an opportunity to compete for a national title at the high school level and preparing more kids to play on the big stage.

Expansion would also be good for New York teams as it would open the door for New York powers such as Lincoln (NY), Our Savior New American (NY), Thomas Jefferson (NY), Christ the King (NY) ect. to compete in the event and draw in local crowds to root on local schools against national powers. In 2014 in a crowded field Lincoln (NY) and Our Savior New American (NY) both missed the tournament because of Huntington Prep (WV) and Rainier Beach (WA) teams being eligible for the first time in event history. The expansion of an event to 16 teams would not only have added two quality teams into last year’s field but it also would have given a chance for the country to see top prospects. Isaiah Whitehead of Lincoln (NY) and Cheick Diallo of Our Savior New American (NY) would have both been participants in a 16 team event last year and would have been given the opportunity to showcase their skills on national television before they ever stepped foot on a college court.

 

What a 16 team field would look like this year under current rules?

 

First Round Matchups:

 

1. Oak Hill Academy (VA) 45-0

vs

16. Lincoln (NY) 25-3

 

 

8. Blanche Ely (FL) 28-0

vs

9. Greensboro Day (NC) 33-2

 

 

4.  Huntington Prep (WV) 31-2

vs

13. Garfield (WA) 27-2

 

 

5. Findlay Prep (NV) 28-2

vs

12. Wesleyan Christian (NC) 29-5

 

 

6.  Cape Henry (VA) 32-2

vs

11. Jonesboro (GA) 32-1

 

 

3. Wheeler (GA) 28-2

vs

14. Wings Academy (NY) 27-2

 

 

7. La Lumiere (IN) 23-2

vs

10. Cardinal Gibbons (FL) 34-1

 

 

2. Montverde Academy (FL) 28-1

vs

15. Montrose Christian (MD) 23-4

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